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Two Poems by Anna B. Sutton | Word Riot

July 15, 2015      

Two Poems by Anna B. Sutton


Twin yolk trembling in the glass crater
of my little mixing bowl, good luck

to some. Two marigold orbs, delicate
as grief—to most, it is the happy herald

of pregnancy; elsewhere, a double ovum
can be an omen of death. Looking down

at the pair—one couched in the other’s
soft flesh, membrane spread and narrowing—

I consider leaving them, setting the bowl
in the cupboard until the twins sallow

and dry. Instead, I carry it to Jacob, trimming
the overgrowth along our fence. He shrugs

and tells me it’s no miracle—a young chicken
learning to lay or an old girl in a hurry. Deflated,

I return to the kitchen and pierce the tender skin
of the top yolk, watch it weep into its other.


Rendition with Two Girls

Center Hill Lake, TN

We were swimming—had jumped off the dock as we tended to do, stripped down after work and plunged, folded hands and faces first, into the greasy water around the boats, water brown with gasoline and fryer oil, suntan lotion, duck shit, remnants of the river’s dead—without life jackets or the emptied-out water jugs to sling ourselves over like survivors. If I had called you to come closer, close enough to wrap my legs around, close enough to brace us against the floating dock, my fingers hooked over mossy bars, damp metal vined with snakes, would you have made yourself an anchor? Pulled us down to the lost and found of ancient catfish, where we could lay in the mud and let our dresses slip from our shoulders, let their shadows pass us over, where we could unearth barnacled keys, swap decaying sunglasses and see ourselves in their lenses, moss-stained fingers, bits of grease still buried in our hair? Could we have touched there, without the safety of a wink, without our netted laughter?


headshotAbout the author:

Anna B. Sutton is a poet and publisher from Nashville, TN. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Third Coast, Copper Nickel, Quarterly West, DIAGRAM, Brevity, and other journals. She received her MFA from UNC Wilmington and a James Merrill fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. She is a co-founder of The Porch Writers’ Collective in Nashville, poetry editor at Dialogist, a reader at Gigantic Sequins, a designer for One Pause Poetry, and project manager at John F. Blair, Publisher. She lives and works in Winston-Salem, NC.

    2 comments to Two Poems by Anna B. Sutton

    • Anna,

      I really enjoyed reading “Rendition with Two Girls.” The language and rhythm of the piece made reading it fluid. And what fun!

    • Jeffrey Bryant

      “Egg” is exquisitely crafted. “Delicate as grief” is one of the loveliest phrases I’ve read in a long time. Thanks.

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